Featured ATX Food Blogger: Red, White & Blueberries
Kicking off our ATX Food Bloggers Week is Melissa from Red, White and Blueberries. Her user friendly blog not only has fantastic recipes (jalapeno cheese beer bread, anyone?) she also gives us tips on crafting and DIY projects. The personal addition of dishes from her grandma’s recipe box makes us want to cook up a storm in her kitchen. Red, White and Blueberries is for folks looking for all American recipes with a Texas twist.
Intrigued? Read on to learn more about one of Austin’s fantastic food bloggers.
How did you discover your love of food and writing?
I’ve always loved food and baking with my mom and grandmother. I started blogging while living out in Cali and wasn’t working (we’ve had 22 addresses in 7 years). I noticed that many times blogs didn’t include enough pictures, especially with complicated recipes, so I set out to fix that. Not to mention I love talking and telling stories.
Has blogging changed the way you view food and cooking? If so, how?
California really opened my eyes to eating and drinking local and seasonal. It also has forced me to try new ingredients and think of different ways to make things. As an engineer I’m a creature of habit and blogging forces me to continuously test out new ideas.
What is your favorite ingredient to use in the kitchen?
I actually have two: garlic and hot peppers. The pre-minced garlic is so darn convenient and hot peppers kick everything up a notch. The flavor they add can’t be matched by any other ingredient.
What is your best memory in the kitchen?
I have so many wonderful memories and most include my mom, grandma and a ton of sugar…and chocolate! But this spring I was asked to join a Google + hangout with Mary Makes Dinner for a raw food challenge – Iron Chef style. The week of the event I came down with the flu so Mr. RWB (my husband) had to step in and do the cooking or non-cooking. I directed from a chair and chatted while he worked though most of the time I was on mute directing him! It was so much fun to work together to step outside both our comfort zones.
What is the best thing about your kitchen?
I love my gas range but probably my favorite thing is the island. It makes prepping, cooking and plating much easier. Not to mention it doubles as a great buffet when hosting events.
What is your favorite meal to prepare?
Stoplight. It’s actually not on my blog but probably should be…I make guacamole, queso and salsa and place it in a 3 tiered server. Quick, easy and totally tasty.
What does your dream kitchen look like?
My dream kitchen would have a sky light, large cabinets and countertops to hold all my gadgets and dishes, a built-in wine fridge, large island and a huge fan! You’d be surprised how big a difference a fan makes especially in the summer here in Texas!
What 3 guests would you like to have at your dinner table?
My husband – he will try anything and is totally honest, Julia Child – her story and ability are amazing, Yia Yia Andrew – never was able to meet her but from what I hear, we would be two peas in a pod!
What does the word “sustainable” mean to you when it comes to food?
Sustainable to me is more than just the choice of food you eat. It’s about teaching people to create things that make them excited to share with others. Food is social and the more you know, the more comfortable you feel to try new things and get others excited. I blog because of my passion and hope to inspire others. It’s all about getting people to think differently about food.
Favorite Recipe to Date?
Salsa – I have half a dozen different recipes. It’s fun to try different peppers and ingredients. I love how no two batches are exactly the same. It’s a great metaphor for life – you can experience things multiple times but the experience can never be duplicated so make the most of every moment.
What three recipes would you share with our readers?
Grandma’s Banana Bread Recipe – one of the first things I learned to make though I’m allergic to both bananas and nuts it’s still one of my favorites. I just love how the house smells when it’s baking.
Grilled Portobello Burgers – We have a local farmer that brings the best mushrooms every week. I love how easy this is and Mr. RWB doesn’t even miss the meat!
Strifto – A modern take on Baklava that’s rolled instead of layered. Flaky and buttery, this tasty dessert is in honor of Mr. RWB’s Yia Yia (Grandmother) and his Greek heritage. His childhood church put out a cookbook that has several of Yia Yia’s recipes that I’m working my way through.